January 13, 2015
By Patrick Svitek

AUSTIN – Former Austin County Judge Carolyn Bilski and Caldwell attorney Leighton Schubert are heading to a runoff in the race to replace former state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst.

Neither Bilski nor Schubert – both Republicans – captured more than half the vote Tuesday to win outright in the special election for House District 13, which includes parts of seven counties west of the Houston area. Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, vacated the seat after securing a promotion to the upper chamber last month.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Schubert had 43 percent of the vote to Schubert’s 33 percent. Gov.-elect Greg Abbott is expected to schedule the runoff after he takes office next week.

“As we look forward to a runoff election in the coming weeks, we welcome your prayers and continued support,” Bilski told followers on Facebook. “Every vote matters!”

With 20 years on the bench, Bilski had more elected experience than any of her three competitors. But as they headed into the last week of the race, the first-time candidate Schubert gave Bilski a run for her money, out-raising her nearly 2-to-1 and building a war chest almost eight times as large as hers.

Coming in third with 13 percent was Cecil Webster, a former chairman of the Fayette County Democratic Party. Republican Becky Berger, a Schulenburg geologist who had the backing of statewide officials and area lawmakers, finished last with 11 percent.

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